UNLV Hands Out Annual Awards
Dec. 5, 2008
LAS VEGAS - Record-breaking senior wide receiver Casey Flair led the way with four honors as UNLV held its annual postseason football banquet on campus at the Student Union Ballroom Friday night.
Flair, a former walk-on from Anchorage, Alaska, caught at least one pass in every outing of his Rebel career - a school-record 47 straight games - while finishing second at UNLV with 202 career receptions. He took home the offensive captain award, which was voted on by his teammates, the "Doc" Tobler Senior Award (final-year player who brings the highest credit to himself and the university), the Outstanding Character Award (player who demonstrates outstanding character and a sense of responsibility on and off the field), and shared the Rebel Spirit Award with defensive lineman and a fellow-senior, Las Vegas native Jacob Hales (seniors who exhibited toughness, positive attitude and a strong commitment to his teammates).
There were co-winners in two of the team's major awards. Junior WR Ryan Wolfe (Santa Clarita, CA) and sophomore QB Omar Clayton (Normal, IL) were tabbed Co-Offensive Most Valuable Players for 2008. Wolfe tied the school record for receptions in a season with 88 and became the first Rebel to reach 1,000 yards receiving since 1994 with 1,040. His five 100-yard receiving games helped him become his program's career leader in both catches and yards after just three seasons. Despite missing the final three games with an injury, Clayton turned in one of the finest passing seasons in recent Rebel history. Completing 58.9-percent of his pass attempts while throwing for 1,894 yards and 18 touchdowns, he set the school record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception (173) as well as UNLV's single-season record for lowest interception percentage with .0155 (4 in 258 attempts).
The Defensive MVP went to junior Jason Beauchamp (San Diego, CA), as the linebacker led the Mountain West Conference and currently ranks seventh in the nation with 10.58 tackles per game. His total of 127 tackles ranked sixth in UNLV single-season history. He also added six tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery. He was named MWC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 20 after recording 21 total tackles against Air Force, which was just one short of the school record.
The Special Teams Co-MVPs were a pair of kick-team standouts. Freshman Deante' Purvis (Pinole, CA) took over the kickoff return duties at mid-year and went on to rank fifth in the Mountain West Conference with an average of 23.4 yards. Also winning was junior running back Chris Brogdon (Phoenix, AZ), whose nose for the ball and penchant for big hits on covering returns netted him three fumble recoveries.
Other honors handed out Friday included senior tight end Ryan Worthen (Las Vegas) getting the Rene Arceneaux Award, which is given to a player who has demonstrated exemplary improvement in academic progress. Senior defensive end Thor Pili (Orem, UT) took home the Robert Cline Award, which annually goes to a senior who demonstrated a strong commitment to his team, university and community while also showing good sportsmanship on the field.
Also, junior wide receiver Jerriman Robinson (Rialto, CA) picked up the Jack Gilmore Coaches Award, which is given to a former walk-on player who excelled on the field. A former transfer from Texas Southern, Robinson caught 15 passes for 236 yards and one score.
2008 UNLV FOOTBALL AWARDS
Co-Most Valuable Players - Offense Ryan Wolfe, WR, Junior Omar Clayton, QB, Soph. Most Valuable Player - Defense Jason Beauchamp, LB, Junior Co-Most Valuable Players - Special Teams Deante Purvis, KR, Freshman Chris Brogdon, RB, Senior Rene Arceneaux Award Ryan Worthen, TE, Junior Robert Cline Award Thor Pili, DL, Senior Jack Gilmore Coaches Award Jerriman Robinson, WR, Junior Bill "Wildcat" Morris Most Inspirational Award Ryan Wolfe, WR, Junior "Doc" Tobler Senior Award Casey Flair, WR, Senior Co-Offensive Scout Team Players of the Year Lale Taiese, OL Imari Thompson, RB Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year Beau Brence, LB, Freshman Special Teams Scout Team Player of the Year Adam Gent, LB, Junior Rebel Spirit Award Casey Flair, WR, Senior Jacob Hales, DL, Senior Outstanding Character Award Casey Flair, WR, Senior Captains Award Casey Flair, WR, Senior Lorenzo Bursey Jr., DB, Senior Dack Ishii, P, Senior